The glycemic index calculator shows you the glycemic index value for the most popular food products and assigns them into three categories: low glycemic index, mid-range glycemic index, and high glycemic index. Check the article below to find out what glycemic index is and how to calculate it.

If you are interested in other diabetic calculators, check out the A1c, HOMA-IR, insulin dosage, and QUICKI calculators.

What is glycemic index - glycemic index definition

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale from 0 to 100 that corresponds to how much a carbohydrate raises a person's blood sugar level by after eating. Pure glucose is given a value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the person's blood glucose level two hours after consuming it. The glycemic index definition was introduced in 1981, and it is commonly used to help people with diabetes to manage their disease. Nowadays, the concept of GI is getting more and more popular in other aspects of nutrition as well, e.g. when composing a weight loss diet.

The glycemic index of specific food products depends on:

  • The quantity and type of carbohydrate in the food;
  • The amount of entrapment of the carbohydrate molecules within the meal;
  • The protein and fat content of the meal;
  • The amount of organic acids in food; and
  • The thermal treatment of the meal.

How to calculate glycemic index

The glycemic index of specific food products needs to be determined experimentally in a research setting; however, tables and lists with GI values for many types of foods are widely available. Our glycemic index calculator uses data from the official glycemic index website and the international GI database from the University of Sydney.

The glycemic index value of a food product is determined by feeding at least 10 healthy people a portion of the food containing 50 grams of digestible carbohydrates and then measuring its effect on their blood glucose levels over the next 2 hours. Then the area under the two-hour blood glucose response (glucose AUC) graph each person is measured. The same 10 people must also consume an equal-carbohydrate portion of pure glucose in as a reference meal. The GI value for the tested food product is then determined by dividing each person's glucose AUC for the test food by their glucose AUC for the reference food (glucose) and finding the average across all participants.

Low glycemic index

Low GI products are ones that produce smaller fluctuations in blood glucose levels and insulin levels. A food is considered to have a low glycemic index if its GI value is 55 or less. Food products with a low GI are considered to be healthier and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

High glycemic index

Products with a high glycemic index are rapidly digested, absorbed, and metabolized. As a result, they cause fluctuations in the body's blood sugar (glucose) levels, which is undesirable, especially in people with diabetes.

  • A food is considered to have a high glycemic index if it equals 70 or more.

  • All products with a glycemic index between 56 and 69 are considered as having a mid-range GI.

Glycemic index is a measure of carbohydrate quality, so products and meals that do not contain carbohydrates are not assigned a glycemic index, as they cannot be tested according to the standard methodology. Those foods include products such as cheese, meat, some fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, and many more.

How to use glycemic index calculator?

Now you know the glycemic index definition and how to calculate glycemic index, so let's have a look how to use the glycemic index calculator. Here is some crucial information:

  • All food products are divided into 6 categories. You can check the glycemic index of products from different categories at the same time.

  • After choosing the product you are interested in, you will see its glycemic index value.

  • The calculator will also show you if the product has a low glycemic index, mid-range glycemic index, or high glycemic index.

Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Sweet treats and snacks 🍪 🍿 🍦
Banana cake with sugar
Glycemic index: 47
🟢 Low GI
Dairy and alternatives 🥛 🍼 🧀
Chocolate pudding
Glycemic index: 47
🟢 Low GI
Fruits (and preserves) 🍓 🍍 🍏
Apple, raw
Glycemic index: 40
🟢 Low GI
Cereal products 🍞 🍚 🥯
Bagel, white
Glycemic index: 69
🟠 Mid-range GI
Vegetables (and preserves) 🥔 🥕 🌽
Baked beans
Glycemic index: 40
🟢 Low GI
Beverages 🥤 🍺 🧃
Apple juice
Glycemic index: 41
🟢 Low GI
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